This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Patrick Caufield / 22 September 2012

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail.

Poetic Response to Patrick Caufield’s ‘Reserved Table’

The perspective of the lobster
Seems a little flat
But this crustacean is deep
He loves philosophy, physics
and dining out,
picking humans out of tanks
for dinner
conversation, out of pity 

He much prefers to converse with the table
But the table is a little reserved
“Come on table, don’t be shy…
I know we live in a blue world
But there is always the bigger picture
Where outside the frame
I was free 

Where I swam oceans in the moonlight
And read philosophy on the beach
My favourite philosopher is Wittgenstein
He said ‘A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked
and opens inwards;
as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.’” 

A waiter came and served the lobster onto the reserved table
The table felt its warmth
And knew what the lobster said was true.
And began to edge itself
Slowly out of the frame.

Keywords: art,artist,outsider art,outsider artists,painting,pallant house gallery,patrick caufield